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Minnesota United vs. Sounders, recap: Leaving points on the table

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Despite falling behind early, the Sounders had plenty of chances to get full points in Minnesota.

MLS: Seattle Sounders FC at Minnesota United FC Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

In a vacuum, going to Minnesota United and coming away with a single point is not a bad result. But on the heels of a frustrating run of games, the 1-1 tie with Minnesota United feels a bit like an opportunity missed.

Minnesota United came out looking like the better team and Ike Opara’s 26th minute goal gave them a just lead. But from that point forward, the Sounders were the better team and generated the better chances. Cristian Roldan’s 30-yard blast in the 42nd minute was the equalizer, and both Will Bruin and Nicolás Lodeiro hit headers off the post in the 81st minute. The Sounders ultimately hit the woodwork three times in the game.

In the end, the Sounders will have live with the point. The bad news is that they are now winless in four. The good news is that they are undefeated in three, erasing deficits in two of them and playing down a man for 72 minutes in the other.

Key moments

  • The first golden opportunity of the game came against the run of play in the 23rd minute when Jordan Morris worked a nice give-and-go with Lodeiro. Lodeiro’s cross was a half step behind Morris, but that doesn’t fully excuse him pushing his left-footed attempt into an open net off the outside of the post.
  • A few minutes later, Opara gave the Loons a well-deserved lead when he rose above Chad Marshall to head in Jan Gregus’ free kick.
  • The Sounders had mostly been stuck in their own end up to that point, but started playing more aggressively after the goal. It came good in the 42nd minute when Roldan was able to get a full run-up on a loose ball nearly 30 yards out. His perfectly struck shot bent beautifully just inside the near post.
  • Just before the half, Gregus got his elbow up into Lodeiro’s face. It’s the kind of foul that has been called a red, but a yellow was probably justified.
  • The second half’s best chances mostly belonged to the Sounders and they looked poised to break through in the 81st minute. First, Román Torres had a goal-bound header cleared away. Bruin that made good contact on a header that looked bound for goal but hit the the post. A few seconds later, it was Lodeiro’s turn as he hit a diving header off the opposite post.

Talking points

Points squandered: A point on the road is never a bad result, especially against a likely playoff team like United. It’s entirely possible that the three shots off the post are doing a lot of work here, but it sure seems like the Sounders should have been able to figure out a way to win this one. Osvaldo Alonso was almost completely neutralized and United rarely troubled the Sounders after Opara’s goal. Three points from four games is nothing like the end of the world, but it feels like this stretch should have resulted in at least two more.

At least they’re healthy: Only two of the Sounders’ six injured players actually started, but it was still heartening to see guys like Will Bruin, Raúl Ruidíaz and Victor Rodriguez running around again. Bruin, in particular, turned in a strong performance during his 30-minute shift. It’s not at hard to imagine the Sounders reeling off a series of positive results in the coming weeks if this is the group they’re able to put out.

Round 1 to Roldan: Alonso was nothing like bad in this game and Roldan was not spectacular, but I’m inclined to give Round 1 of their matchup to Roldan. Yes, his goal is a big reason why. But he was also missing his midfielder partner and never looked remotely overmatched. Perhaps more importantly, he bounced back after what was a down couple weeks.

Did you see that?!?

We don’t normally use this space for goals but this was good enough to justify another look. Put this thing on loop.

Quote of the day

One stat to tell the tale

5 — Morris was offside five times, all in the first half. One of those negated what would have been a really nice goal. Shame.

Poll

Man of the match

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Cristian Roldan
    (708 votes)
  • 2%
    Stefan Frei
    (23 votes)
  • 7%
    Nicolas Lodeiro
    (63 votes)
  • 3%
    Jordy Delem
    (32 votes)
826 votes total Vote Now